Monday, August 22, 2011

An Open Letter to Darren Simpson

Dear Darren,

Oh dear. What were you thinking?

I used to think you were a bit of alright. You were one of the only schmucks chefs on Ready Steady Cook I could bear to watch. I will admit to being charmed by your accent (I'm a sucker for the pearl of the Green Isle) more than your food and I even thought you were a bit of a dish, if you'll pardon the pun.

But now, Dazza? Well I'm a bit surprised. You don't mind if I call you Dazza, do you? It seems fitting now that you've aligned yourself with such bogan cuisine (oxymoron FTW!).

Just so we're clear, I actually like KFC and I could care less that people align themselves with brands. All power to them, it doesn't automatically make them a sell out. But doesn't partnering with KFC to create a 'signature range' go against every thing you've publicly said about the value of good food?

The other day you defended yourself by saying that people were "quick to label fast food junk" and that you were surprised that there was criticism of your effort to "improve the quality of it".

Now I believe when people label it junk they're referring to nutritional value and calorie count. I fail to see how chucking a piece of deep fried, battered chicken on a sour dough bun and whacking on a bit of parmesan changes very much by those standards. It's still junk food.

Kudos for using free range chicken, but that alone does not a gourmet, non-junk burger make.

I have done what you have asked and tried your burgers before passing judgement. In your super fabulously appointed kitchen they may come out looking all food porn like this:


But they're a little less appetizing when they're put together by a pimply faced, angsty teen at my local KFC:


But wait!, I hear you say, it's all about the presentation. So, for your benefit, I "plated up".



Nup, it's still shit. Anaemic lettuce and bacon that I'm pretty sure wasn't cooked. And lemme just say even with the aid of an Instagram filter to give it a bit more colour, there is no way of telling what is bun, what is cheese and what is lettuce since they are all the same shade of off-white. Mmm beige, my favourite.

And that is what you've put your name to, Dazza. Not the fancy pants version you made, but the plain, ordinary, almost-one-third-of-daily-energy-requirement version that gets handed out every day. So if you're gonna say that what's in my picture is not junk food, then that, and not the money you made, makes you a sell out.

Yours in calories,




P.S. The chips were still good.

46 comments:

  1. I'm totally with you on this one. Word for word.

    And OMG how raw DOES that bacon look? Ew!

    Sorry Darren, it's not quite Neil Perry Qantas Club or First Class Flight dining now is it?

    If it looks like a duck (or in this case, chicken) and it quacks like a duck, then it's still just a duck.

    So I'm sorry, but your burgers are still just ducks (or chickens, or...I dunno, I've confused myself).

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  2. Rhi_HummingbirdsSongAugust 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Is it wrong that I still really want to try one? *hangs head in shame*

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  3. Take that Darren ! Agree totally . . . . .  Disappointed Darren really disappointed !

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  4. "Nup, it's still shit" << that done it for me! hehe.
    I agree with everything you said, Glow. Annoys the crap out of me when I think I'm ordering a nice looking burger only to find I get a burger that looks like it's been used as a hacky sack.

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  5. I just wish all fast food companies would stick to what they know best - greasy, fatty crap that costs too much and makes you feel like shit.

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  6. I saw this ad & thought, what??  I think i've eaten KFC like 3 times in my life & my children have never been exposed, i don't mind it, it's just never really an option to eat there.  Love Posie
     http://posiepatchworkblog.blogspot.com/

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  7. Yeah, I thought Darren was kinda cute, too.  Don't really care for junk food.  It is a necessary evil, whether branded with a chef's name or not.  Who knows what his motivations for doing this were?  Certainly not me...

    Btw, how do I get my button on your side bar?

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  8. The only upside is the free range chicken - but what about free range bacon too? No love for the piggies? (I once asked a KFC worker when they planned on switching to free range chicken and he didn't know what that meant, called over the Manager who was equally as clueless......)
    KFC = ethical fail

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  9. Have you seen how they take pictures of food? It is actually called food porn and none of it is edible - it's all coated or fake and held in place with glue. No wonder it never looks like that!

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  10. Exactly. KFC is my go to for greasy goodness. Why mess that up?

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  11. I tried to put it up once and it was about 500x500px remember? I sent you an email/tweet about it.

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  12. Not at all, go eat one. I'm sure if the bacon was cooked in mine and there was actually green lettuce it might have been OK. Just don't go thinking it's not junk food :P

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  13. I will stick with my shaker fries then?

    Heh.

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  14. PMSL yep they're still duckens (a strange hybrid mix of ducks and chickens).

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  15. If he'd come out and said "yeah it's KFC and it's junk food but we're doing it a bit differently" I wouldn't have even cared. But saying it's not junk food really disappointed me.

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  16. A bit of staff training wouldn't go astray :)
    P.S. Bacon is my favourite animal.

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  17. You should align with Maccas. It would be a perfect fit. No one could accuse you of selling out, you already say they're your crack and you're not being paid!

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  18. 'course you did... I changed it after that, but didn't tell you.  Kept it very secret.  Better not put it up now, because I'm having a blog-lift...

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  19. I must say, I was really surprised that KFC had brought in a reputable chef to peddle their wares. Being a sucker, I tried one of KFC's signature range too...the one with the caramelised onions. Only problem was, the onions were missing! They didn't get delivered to the store. #fail. I remember a few years ago, KFC brought out a burger with a grilled chicken breast and baby spinach...it was delicious! Bring that back.

    btw - KFC chips are ALWAYS good.

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  20. The bacon looked gross. I would have pulled it off. Gross even if you were going there to get some normal non gourmet junk food.
    I think he would have had good intentions, but they seem to forget that the people that work in those places must be short a few screws because I can never go to a fast food resturaunt and not have my food screwed up. So presentation? That the the least of their worries.

    How did it taste? Was it ok? Edible? Or gross?

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  21. I'm guessing that Tetra Pak Kids won't be advertising on your nuffnang anytime soon. :) That almost sounded obscene!

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  22. No onion in the caramelised onion burger?! That's almost as bad as when they run out of chicken (has happened!)

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  23. Hehe. They did once, and pulled the ad after 2 days :P It's a bit harder with those ads because you don't really have a say about what goes up. Same with Google ads - mine are sometimes Nestle formula ads and I completely disagree with formula being advertised and have it stated on my own media kit and PR lists that I won't do any promo work for them.

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  24. LOL! Awesome point Glowless :) I must say I had the Mc Donalds equivalent recently and it looked like the picture on the sign, I was so surprised I nearly took a photo!

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  25. I wholeheartedly agree with you that this burger should be called what it is: junk food, but I think we've all eaten enough Big Macs and Whoppers, cooked enough recipes, dabbled in online dating and bought enough lingerie to know that it NEVER looks like it does in the picture. 

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  26. I hope you didn't eat that bacon.

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  27. Gemma_My_Big_NutshellAugust 22, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    What I am most concerned about above anything else, is, in the advertisement. the little note at the end that talks about *emergency stock*, what the hell is that? Will the product be available or will they have to substitute it with *emergency stock*, this is far more concerning than selling out. ;)

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  28. I was wondering what all the fuss was about till I saw those photos. Yep, that's what I would call a sell out!

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  29. i hafta say, if you ate that - you're a braver soul than i! was the bacon raw? because it bloody well looked like it was!



    that's the thing about fast food - it NEVER looks like the picture.



    i wonder if he's wishing he'd never put his name to it now?

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  30. Totally agree!! Had one on Friday night, one end was hard and dry with no flavour and all of it was  luke warm. Chips still rocked!

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  31. I agree, he hasn't created a crap product, but the end result is so far removed from his creation it is unrecognizable.
    It wasn't horrible, but it was close. Won't have it again.

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  32. Too true, Cecilia! I look nothing like my profile pictures with their fancy filters to make me pretty :-P

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  33. I tried it, it was luke warm & very limp #NotAEuphemism

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  34. Hehe, the emergency stock is their frozen chicken I think? Apparently the rest is fresh but they have some frozen in case they run out?

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  35. I feel sorry for the guy. But surely he'd realize the care he put in to making it would not be replicated by your average high school student.

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  36. It looked raw but I'd guess it had been microwaved for a few seconds to make it luke warm.

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  37. The chips always rock. They have the best salt.

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  38. My husband went on a pretty much identical rant while I was reading your blog and he's a KFC addict.It's the treating everyone like freaking morons that bothers me the most.

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  39. Tell Mr Good Goog not to bother trying it, it's nothing special... unless you really like parmesan.

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  40. I worked at KFC for 7yrs. The reason the bacon looks raw and is most likely stone cold is because the microwave it for 30seconds. Gross. If I was making myself a burger I would either deap fry the bacon or cook it on the sandwich press, much tastier.

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  41. Juliet@autochic.com.auSeptember 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    I'd try one if I were hung over...

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  42. Love it!  I've just stumbled across your blog.. I think I'm in love! :D lol.  My partner shudders every time this ad comes on tv ... I'll be sure to shove this under his nose when he gets home, it'll just spur him on some more!!! teeeheehe
    Cass @ http://casscansew.blogspot.com/

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  43. Darling, I'm an ex- sex worker. Yes, an ex- prostitute, is the word. And your dishy Darren Simpson was to be reviled by all sex - workers, ie Prostitutes. 
    He'd swagger on in, coked to the eyeballs with a limp dick and ORDER girl (bread/amuse bouche) after girl (entree) after girl (main)....you get my drift...and none of us could get his limp dick to work. Nor could we get him to behave like a gentleman. And believe me, before you guffaw, men can and do and SHOULD treat women with respect regardless if the transaciton happens to be sex. But our Darren was always a sad, hideous rude fucker of a mental case. 

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  44. Particularly when you "order" underage girls.

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